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There was double cause for celebration as both Trent College Under 18s and Under 15s marched into round five of the Natwest Schools Cup last week.
Northampton Saints Academy and England U18 flanker, Will Allman, led by example as Trent's U18s, the reigning Natwest Schools Vase holders, resisted a late comeback to see off Leicester-based Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College 22-17 on Wednesday (12 November).
Then, 24 hours later, the U15s made the most of home advantage and produced a clinical display to defeat Loughborough Grammar School 29-0.
The NatWest Schools Cup is the premier tournament in schools rugby - all schools that enter play for a main Cup, while teams knocked out in the early rounds go into the Vase competition. 1,000 teams, at U15 and U18 level, enter the tournament.
Trent College's U18s are now unbeaten in any Natwest Schools match for 10 games - over a year - but they were made to work for their progress in this year’s Cup as, despite having never played each other previously, Wyggeston, a Sixth Form college next to Leicester Tigers’ Welford Road home, could boast several Tigers Academy players in their ranks.
Trent imposed themselves early in the game, with Charlie Livesey, Zach Gundry and Angus Low tries putting the visitors into a commanding position.
With their pressure persisting Trent were playing on the edge and ill-discipline at the breakdown crept in. James Benstead and Jack Dickinson found themselves in the sin bin leaving Trent to battle with 13 men. But, driven on by Allman, and holding a five-point lead in the final minutes of the game, Trent managed to keep their hosts at bay for a hard-fought victory.
The U18s will now visit Oundle School, Peterborough in round five during the week commencing 24 November.
The U15s, meanwhile, will host Uppingham School from Leicestershire in the fifth round, after running in four tries on the way to convincingly defeating a Loughborough Grammar side that reached the quarter-finals of the 2013-14 Vase, and had already beaten Trent earlier this season.
Trent U15s have now scored 86 points and conceded just five in their last two Natwest Cup outings and, having reached the Cup quarter finals last year, will be confident they can keep progressing through the seven Midlands qualifying towards the knockout phase next spring.
This season marks 25 years of Schools Cup action. A host of England and British Lions stars have played in the Natwest Schools' Cup including England captain Chris Robshaw, scrum-half Danny Care and centre Manu Tuilagi. NatWest Schools Finals Day, which will feature the finals of the U18 Cup, U18 Vase, U15 Cup and U15 Vase, will be played at Twickenham Stadium on March 25 2015.